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tv   [untitled]    September 11, 2014 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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advice for toddlers teens and adults, in spanish and under significant time pressure is nothing less than extraordinary. with their good works could be undone as the core dating organization for the attorney of the day expedited docket and intake and referral of these clients the work of the attorney of the day could be left hanging on the screen of financial support is made available to the immigration nonprofit attorneys answering the call in the crisis. then the nonprofits that are linked to the law firms who can help. they have the training and mentoring to enable more attorney recruits for the effort. they are the link for the children and families with valid claims to get due process and protection under the law. thank you very much >> thank you. next he >> thank you. my name is marie mauser, partner with the law firm cooley llp and national
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law firm with 11 offices including 2 here in the bay area and san francisco and palo alto. i'm also a cofounder and board member of the national association of pro bono counsel. professional organization of attorneys managing pro bono practices at law firms around the country. it is in that capacity that i'm here today. on behalf of the association of pro bono counsel and our law firm pro bono counsel members, i would like to stress express the strong as possible support for the supplemental funding for legal services providers. although many of our law firms already do promote pro bono work for children and families in the areas of asylum and guardianship and special immigrant juvenile status, we are not able to do that work on our own. we do not work in partnerships with legal services providers. which provides training, screening, and mentoring, referral, and expertise. however, many of these organizations were already at capacity work on reduce staffing before this
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crisis. they are simply not able to scale up the number of cases they are referring and mentoring without additional funding and additional staff. additional resources and commitment from firms will be meaningless unless the legal services organization received significant additional funding. we therefore respectfully request that you approve the supplemental funding for san francisco legal services organization so they can expand their staff and resources and thereby leverage available open resources for children and families. my firm here in san francisco are committed to being a part of the solution for this crisis and for helping to address this crisis. in representation for unaccompanied children. and families but additional funding for legal services organizations is crucial for assistance from the private part to have any value. thank you. >> hi my name is grace lee,
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policy director of chinese for affirmative action. i'm here to reiterate our support for this effort. we talk about the national contacting now how we've come to the situation that provide historical context as well. just a few weeks ago caa took our organizers members undertook to angel island. over 100 years ago over angel pilot decided that the patient detention center. many unaccompanied children from asia were there. it is of thousands of chinese immigrants were detained there were forced into interrogations that were divine to design to entrap them. the purpose of this process was to find ways of these people turned away. the members understood where the same situation today. it took over 100 years of leadership and vision at community organizing for services go to turn away from its anti-immigrant processes. virtually going to be a century city are going to say that we support immigrants i can think
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of no greater test than today for us to truly speak from our values to say that we care for children and that we care about due process. this is not about acting from fear or hysteria or clutching tightly to resource. this is really about the value separate cisco values. >> thank you. i have a few more names. anna marie vincent. cynthia niƱos >> good afternoon. my name is mary beth hoffman. i am the chair of the northern california chapter the american immigration lawyers association. we are an association of 13,000 attorneys nationwide and about 1000 attorneys here in the bay area. to give a brief background on in response to the from central america the obama administration has directed all of its agencies to prioritize the deportation of children in recent family arrivals. these cases are going forward far more quickly for us at the speed of light, then the
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regular removal case of an individual who seeks protection. at our borders. the children who are the most vulnerable therefore have less time to find an attorney and the attorneys scrambling to represent them. the private bar the pro bono firms provide pro bono services, to nonprofit organizations, and the individual private attorneys in the immigration not have much less time to prepare a case. as the case will go forward extremely quickly until conclusion. the court rooms resemble more of a preschool than a courtroom filled with kranz crying children napping, children do not have the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings. we did court rooms with heavy hearts. children should be afforded more not less legal protection. the attorneys
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scrambling and doing all we can to help these children are not that capacity without your assistance. the current policy we believe will be seen as the supervisor it as a stain on our history antithesis was the opportunity to have a shining light of the city who responded to help these children. thank you. >> next speaker please >> hello my name is beyond the sarawak on the executive director of central -- in oakland. our immigration program guides free removal provides services. in addition we are also one of the attorneys that stephanie attorney of the day program at the rocket docket. just to give you a sense of the scope of what we are dealing with, we've also done the attorney of the day. we've increased our integration clinics and also increased the number of perception is that we have answering calls and drop it. from july 31 until
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september 5 we provided intakes to 277 individuals and families with young children. justin takes. in addition we've taken on over 100 cases to try to either represent ourselves or find them pro bono counsel. why have we done the scrimmage we've done this without any dedicated funding and we've done it because the majority of these children and families do have the right to stay in this country. we actually have the laws in this country to protect them and make sure that they don't go back to their home countries and face rape abuse torture and death. so we are really asking for is the capacity to be able to enforce our own laws and laws that were designed for this very reason. i want to say there are similar efforts in other counties and cities in particular i involved with efforts by the alameda county and open. but san francisco really is xavier and here is a chance to once again
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show the rest of the bay area why this issue is so important and why this funding is so needed. so therefore we ask san francisco to once again be a leader and help these children who do have the right to stay would we cannot turn our back on these children. if they go back to their home country they will die. thank you. >> have a few more names. >>, associate director of the uc hastings center for gender and the pjs studies and we provide the city's effort to [inaudible] it's the right thing to do. san francisco is less nonprofit organizers are private by the deceptive to assist unaccompanied children. even with such help the unprecedented numbers of children eating assistance in our immigration cases far outstrip capacity. the proposed funding will go a long way towards ensuring that more children living in san
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francisco at their claims for protection heard in immigration court and a way that preserves due process. however one thing is missing from this proposal. not only do we need more attorneys providing direct representation to children, we also need organizations that can provide technical assistance and training to these attorneys are stepping up to take these cases. many of these attorneys were volunteering to represent children have little experience with asylum law or with immigration. immigration and asylum law in particular is a highly specialized area of the law would require; visitation labor-intensive. this is made even more challenging when dealing with a particularly mobile population that may be unfamiliar for the attorney. with support were attorneys would take on these cases advancement to guide them through the process. san francisco is number of organizations that provide technical assistance and training for attorneys in on children's cases including one-on-one mentoring. attorneys have said that consultations
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with expert mentors like these have made all the difference in achieving positive outcomes in their cases. such a high volume of cases proceeding at a rapid rate and influx of attorneys volunteering to up despite new a silent battle mentor services all the more critical. we urge passage of this ordinance and respectfully ask that you consider allocating some part of the funding for organizations provided some of this crucial training and support so that attorneys who represent children can do so effectively as possible. thank you. >> thank you. next door and i do want to it knowledge all are not from the kennedy school. he's been working on this issue for the last 2 months and we would not be here without paul's help. thank you paul >> good afternoon supervisors. my name is kristina wong special assistant to superintendent --. here on behalf of the citizens go unified school district. as a district we are in full support of this budget allocation for legal services that would support the needs of unaccompanied immigrant children in san francisco. over 30 became aware of these children over this past summer the students have been part of
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our school communities for number of years. now we are seeing a significant increase of students who are arriving from honduras what a malloc and el salvador. during the 12 13 school year new students enrolled in the district and 1314 school district we saw an increase of 67% totaling 351 new students from these countries. for this school year we just started in mid august of 2014 and we already have over 200 new students from central america. our schools welcome these children. we can provide the necessary academic transition supports in our new comer pathways. we have school counselors wellness programs school partners to help address their health social emotional and economic needs. were also hiring. we're investing in a coordinator to ensure all our system of support for these newcomers is enhanced to address
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the needs of the students but one of the primary needs of the students is to access the legal services that will actually continue during the duration of their immigration case. without legal representation these children have very little chance of making their case. during the immigration hearing. bilby then deported back to the incredible violence in their home country. it is critical that these children can receive legal services they need so they can at least have a fighting chance to defend themselves. thank you for your consideration and taken action towards the city's humanitarian efforts >> thank you. next speaker >> got into my name is [inaudible] attorney and codirector of [inaudible] legal services nonprofit organization based in san francisco committed to serving immigrant communities in removals of sitting here with our staff volunteers pro bono attorneys clients and their mothers you just heard from. in other community members. were located a few blocks from immigration courts and we were mainly there
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the immigration courts. we've been very much affected by the obama administration's hostile policy towards the children by the rocket docket by by the lack of resources to adequately represent children in immigration court. attorneys at [inaudible] have to work fast and hard on these cases and we face many barriers because children are often more traumatized than adults and speak less openly. they're terrified of the court and i think be deported if they go to court. attorneys have to learn how to work with children. were struggling to go to trainings as quickly as you get ourselves and to acquire tools to better communicate and understand the children who were also scrambling to come up with a not the ligands and overcome the archaic definition of a refugee inherited from world war ii. we've no choice but to work around the on the carpet of the consequences of not being represented are as you
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know severely severe. we need more resources and technical support to be represent what children it is shocking to the conscience to imagine these children alone in court and navigating the immigration process without an attorney. when children have no right to counsel due process rights are essentially gutted that is why we support the ordinance and think of your attention. >> thank you very much. next speaker please. thank you for your work. >> good afternoon. my name is bianca santos and director of the international human rights program and immigration attorney at -- i would like to thank you some of our remarks by san francisco immigration judge and president of the national association of immigration judges. judge daniel remarks. judge mark strongly supports a right to counsel for children. would like to join us today but can appear due to a conflict of interest issue. she encouraged us to share some public remarks she has made in her capacity as the president of the national
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association of immigration judges. 1st, the cases we deal with are often ineffective death penalty cases situations where if the person is removed from the us they may be killed upon returning to the country. 2nd, when coppin counsel is present immigration judges the most important applications for lead and other written submissions because such materials like you to be better research better organized were clearly written and more easily understood if repair by attorneys. this is particularly true in the case of unaccompanied minors. 3rd, a higher percentage of attorney representation through vigorous pro bono programs or appointed counsel emissions would increase cost efficiency and ultimately result in cost savings. finally, the national association of immigration judges strongly endorses initiatives which increase the likelihood that respondents in immigration court savings are represented by attorneys. thank you. >> thank you very much. i have
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a few more names. >> good morning members of the board of supervisors that i wish there were [inaudible] to hear the stories of these brave children and families that are willing to come forward and talk to the humanitarian crisis and exodus that were experiencing scene from the northern triangle region of central america. i don't want to talk about the 1.2 million because i think that's shouldn't be the issue. i fear that the issue here is an issue of san francisco's taking the right stand as always. standing behind our moral commitment to human rights and just remember that the human rights charter was signed in san francisco in 1945. that is something that we should hold up strongly. the united states is not join that charter. the separate cisco was [inaudible] the place where that was signed to need to live
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up to our name and this is again not about $1.2 million. this is about the children and the mothers to mike the parents , for towing her stories for coming and sharing with us his horrible journey that these people have to make to escape the infrastructural challenges that their countries are facing that is rendered them unable to address amounts unable to address poverty unable to address the disintegration of our social fabric as a result of 30 years of us interventions in the region. this is not something that happened overnight. this is a result of 30 years of failed us foreign policies in the region. i do not expect us to not get a full boat here today. because again 1.2 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the journey that these children and these families have made. we expect our city to make the right choice to achieve a full boat
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and to continue to be a leader in the nation for what is right to washingtons amoral approach dressing 52,000 children plus and i want to highlight -- there've been as many deported back to their country for many from january to june so the full scale of this crisis is barely been scratched in this conversation today. so we expect a full boat here and we can many supervisors for sponsoring it were going to work tirelessly until we see our city continue to uphold its name to live up to its promise. >> thank you. next. >> good afternoon supervisors. my name is [inaudible] executive director of the barraza are not we are here today to discuss is a community organization to discuss the impact of the surge and the need for services. we are here again to support that the city
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allocate the funding but we expect also just like [inaudible] we expect the funds. you have heard so boldly and tirelessly worked with the children doing with a rocket docket. now you're hitting that you're hearing from a nonprofit organization in the mission district that deals day-to-day with the families that come looking for legal services. not -- those children and the people that work at the chords are the ones that have they were apprehended by immigration authorities of the border. many do not get apprehended and they come here to san francisco also. their families and children. there are children
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that came to look with her uncles and cousins. they are the people they knew there could come here to get support and refuge. these we in the heart of the city of refuge. the open our arms to them. in the last 2 months that our agency we have referred 31 families 2 different agencies and it's becoming very difficult for us to find attorneys to resolve represent them. thank you so much supervisor campos and thank you supervisors for this work and we expect again that the full boat of supervisors and the [inaudible] and stay true to the spirit of san francisco. thank you. >> thank you. i have a few more names. >> good morning members. my
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name is eric -- long-time organizer and human rights and lg bt right here in santa rosa. the succeeding -- more importantly i've also been involved for the last 15 years with staff member board member and volunteer with central american solidarity organizations. i can't emphasize enough that the violence that these children and families are fleeing is very real. if address cities that of the highest murder rates in the world and higher murder rates in the congo and even i rocked with his legitimate refugee crisis. san francisco needs to step up and support the supplemental budget. besides our own reputation as a stationary city and [inaudible] welcoming the 1st immigrants in the 40s to [inaudible] in the 80s. so much of the crisis and the violence is directly directed
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to by us government policies. the us military report to training death squads in the region to target people and eventually became so that same paramilitaries who work for the narcotraffickers. us sponsored drug war that can develop the conditions and the us-born gains about the bounce back to [inaudible] and us sponsored central american free trade agreement the crippled economies sending waves of immigrants to the country [inaudible] these people give people clean this violence as much as they're trying to reunite with their families about some [inaudible]. we are talking about what happened from 1980s young people are being killed daily in queens and [inaudible] by the obama administration especially runnable girls and women feel
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bgg community the homeless. if it was going to stand for the situation to offer support and financial support and to ensure these young people are [inaudible] crossed thousands of miles barely made it into the us with hopes of safety and fighting apparent -- san francisco needs to be that city >> thank you. next speaker. >> good morning supervised my name is abigail -- executive director for legal services in san francisco. i'm here with the news and bad news. our office has represented and accompanied immigrant children since 21 and a person worked on many of these cases so i can tell you how difficult these cases are. how complex they are legally involving multiple legal systems often taking a year or 2 years or to resolve. i don't need to tell you about the fact that these cases all involve significant, because you've heard from children themselves this morning about what they've experienced. but because these are children and children who've experienced, these are cases that have to be dealt with with extreme care.
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and carefulness. an effort. the numbers recently over the past year have become staggering. our agency and many others cannot possibly meet the need in the current situation. we have been turning away cases which is heartbreaking. so that's the bad news. but we are in a community that has a wealth of nonprofit community nonprofit agencies with experience and with commitment and we are also in a community that is an incredibly generous committed private bar. this summer our office hosted 2 trainings for private attorneys who wish to volunteer in these cases between the 2 trainings over 200 attorney showed up. but we don't have the staffing
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to properly utilize that energy. we weren't we've not been able to send nearly the number of cases that we want to to these volunteers but because the cases are there but because we don't have the staffing. this supplemental make a difference and together with the city, the nonprofit community, and the private are working together with the supplemental we can do this. we can make sure the children are represented and that's the good news. thank you >> taking. next speaker please >> good afternoon. my name is maria does your mother legal central american resource center. as a salvadoran american who knows the violence percent of these young men and women are [inaudible] i was a victim of sexual assault while i was in el salvador when i was 13 years old. seeing these its hits a nerve with me such a very big nerve with me. in the recent months we've seen an increase in -- the conflict that's coming to the offices and we not only see children but also families. we see mothers that are coming here because they themselves have been victims of crime and are trying to protect their children. in countries like el salvador to my personal expense i know that
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these crimes can be reported. however, nothing ever comes from these funds. the government does not protect their citizens and on top of that they come here to suffer and not have any kind of legal counsel. i want you to look down inside your hearts and think how you would tell a 17-year-old mom the left her 3-year-old child behind because this poem was frightened that she was going to be killed for being too pretty. a 12-year-old that has welts on her legs because she was abused and she threatened the abuser to tell her mom that happens to be in the us. how do [unintelligible] to go back to that because we do not have space to take your case at this moment? how do we tell the six-year-old that was left without eating any kind of food for 3 days because he wouldn't wash his aunts close.
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these are the cases that we are seeing. these are things that these young men and women are suffering and not only do they need legal services but i think that you we also need to -- although i commend the money that's been allocated or hopefully will be allocated for these children -- you need to really think the city needs to think that the mental services also because not only are they suffering from things they do not understand but they do not really comprehend the reasons that they've got into this and why the government is not protecting them. so, we as the city need to protect our children. >> thank you. next speaker. >> thank you so much supervisor campos. i'm here on behalf of of jewish community relations council of san francisco. [inaudible] the
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jewish community relations council is the public affairs arm for the organized jewish community which represents approximately 70 jewish community organizations and synagogues on matters of concern for our community. when i say our community i mean are very broad community including everybody lives around us. the refugee experience is a very painful one for the jewish community's legacy. which is why as an organization deeply rooted in jewish values we support policies that promote human rights protection of children, family unification, though the torah's command to welcome the stranger. i'm here to support your ordinance that would appropriate $1.2 million a year or 2 years and will to fund legal services for children and department cube rotation proceedings in the
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step is a skill immigration reported lead to realize this a very small amount and cannot possibly cover all the needs. san francisco must do its part to ensure that these children endanger prosecution in their country of origin are given a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum under the us law. we know from syracuse university transactional records that only one in 10 children who appear in immigration court without representation have been allowed to stay in the us. versus is the percent of children with legal representation have been allowed to stay. these statistics help tell the story of the importance of legal representation for these children were fleeing intense violence and persecution in their home countries. there often traumatized by the journey and have no way of knowing the complexities of us immigration system. competent legal presentation is vital that the children are not are able to make sense. i'm also here to speak on behalf of 7 cisco's interfaith coalition for immigrant rights which
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wasn't able to state that these proceedings are laughing and they add their voice in support of this ordinance. thank you very much >> thank you very much. next speaker >> my name is anna i'm with volunteer with -- my name is regime neptune and him with the interfaith community directed by rev. lee. i would especially like to thank the student -- the children who have been so courageous in giving their testimony under the circumstances. it is truly truly important for them to continue to voice their experiences. i would also like to thank supervisor campos is a role


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